Striking 101

Forget the spare. For the sake of this article, spare shooting is what happens when you fail to strike. Let’s talk about crushing every last pin on your first try. Our crash course on getting “the X” covers everything from finding the pocket to in-game lane adjustments.

The Pocket

The first step and absolute key to getting strikes is hitting the “strike pocket”. The strike pocket is between the 1 and 2 pins for left-handers and between the 1 and 3 pins for right-handers. Hitting the pocket consistently with the right amount of speed and hook will lead to repeating strikes and much higher scores.



 Your ball only has to hit four pins. How tough is that?  


Starting Position

Lots of bowlers ask questions such as, “Where do I have to stand?” and “Where should I throw it?” Unfortunately, the answer is not always the same. It all depends on the amount and placement of the oil on the lane. Knowing your dots and your arrows are vital for lining up just right. A great place to start is the ever-comfortable 15 board and look to roll your ball over the second arrow.


Lane graphic


No, it’s not an organ. It’s a bowling lane. 



What if you’re hitting your target arrow on the lane and the ball keeps missing the pocket. What do you do?

Quick answer? Move your feet the direction of the miss and keep your target the same. This will change the path the ball takes.

Below is a specific example of what this adjustment looks like:

Problem – Let’s say you are right-handed and you start with your feet on the middle dot (20th board) and you roll your ball over the second (2nd) arrow.  The ball misses the pocket (between the 1 and 3 pin) and hits on the left side of the head pin (1 pin).

Solution – After a few deep breaths you realize that you missed the pocket to the left.  It’s time to move in the direction of the miss - to the left approximately the amount of boards the ball missed the pocket.

The “Perfect Strike”

 CDB Striking


 See the dots. Know the dots. Be the dots.  

Like we discussed before, each bowling lane is different so you won’t be able to do the same thing each time you bowl.  

The next time you’re not bowling league, practice these adjustments and see what works for you. Once you’re comfortable with them, let’s take it to the alley at league.  Now get out there and get some strikes!